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Canada isn’t just about the iconic skylines of its cities or the majestic expanse of its national parks; there’s a whole other layer waiting to be discovered. Sure, places like Toronto’s CN Tower or the Rocky Mountains are every bit as spectacular as they sound, but the heart of Canada also beats in the less Instagrammed spots (yet very Instagramable). These hidden gems tucked away from the popular tourist trail.
So are you ready to discover the beauties that lie just off the known map? 

Quebec’s Full of Surprises

Tadoussac: Where whales dance 

Tadoussac, where the Saguenay meets the St. Lawrence River, is famous for its amazing whale-watching spots. It’s more than just an old village; it’s a door to Quebec‘s vast natural landscapes and storied past. People love its laid-back vibe, historical charm, and all the cool ways to explore nature around. Whether you’re into kayaking in peaceful waters or diving into the local history, Tadoussac is all about mixing fun with relaxation. Here, watching the majestic whales feels like it’s part of the place’s slow, beautiful rhythm, making every visit a chill adventure into the heart of nature.

Whale watching in Tadoussac, QC

Kamouraska: Brews with a view on Route 132

Located along the famous Route 132, known as one of Quebec’s top touring experiences, Kamouraska offers a quiet charm, steeped in history and beautiful views. It’s a place where the past gently whispers in the streets, and the calming presence of the Saint Lawrence River encourages visitors to take a moment to breathe. La Tête d’Allumette brewery is a highlight here, drawing beer enthusiasts and nature lovers alike. Renowned for its excellent craft beers and its role as a community hub, it’s a place where you can enjoy a blend of tradition and today’s vibrancy against one of Quebec’s most stunning landscapes. Kamouraska represents the perfect mix of cultural richness and natural beauty for a peaceful escape on Route 132.

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Knowlton: A glimpse of New England in French Canada 

Knowlton, in the heart of the Eastern Townships of Quebec, has a vibe that’s straight out of New England, but with a French Canadian twist. The village is all about charming streets, historic buildings, and a super welcoming feel. It’s where you can hit pause and really get into a calm, historic mood. You’ve got cool shops, cozy cafes, and art galleries that mix the charm of the old world with today’s creativity. Plus, being close to Brome Lake means awesome views and fun water stuff to do when it’s sunny. Walking around Knowlton, it’s like you’re in a history book that’s still alive, with every spot telling its own tale.

Beautiful BC

Chemainus: A town painted in History

Chemainus, tucked away on Vancouver Island, is the kind of place that turns challenges into opportunities. And into art. Famous for its outdoor murals, this town shares its diverse history in the most colorful way. But there’s more: from charming little shops to warm cafés and a lively theatre scene, it’s a small town with a lot to offer. History and creativity come together here, making it the perfect spot to explore at your own pace, whether that’s admiring murals or enjoying a theatre show. For anyone looking to discover the unknown paths of Canada, Chemainus is a testament to the beauty of taking the road less travelled.

Coombs: Where goats graze on rooftops

On Vancouver Island lies Coombs, a quirky village where you’ll find the unexpected at every turn. It’s home to the iconic Old Country Market, known for its grassy roof where goats hang out, bringing together quirky charm and countryside peace. But Coombs is more than just its famous goats; it’s packed with unique shops, a wide range of food from around the world, and local artisan crafts. The vibe here encourages you to slow down and enjoy life’s little moments. Whether you’re hunting for unique finds, sampling exotic tastes, or just watching goats on the roof, Coombs offers a fun and quirky experience. This creative community spotlights Vancouver Island’s unique vibe, making it a top pick for anyone looking for something a little different and enchanting.

Goats hanging out on the Old Country Market rooftop in Coobs, BC

Haida Gwaii: The Northern Galapagos

Haida Gwaii, is a stunning archipelago off British Columbia’s northern coast, known for its amazing ecological and cultural treasures. This off-the-beaten-path spot is perfect for anyone looking to dive into a world of incredible wildlife, including some pretty rare species. With its old-growth forests, awesome coastlines, and the living culture of the Haida Nation, it’s like stepping into another world. You can explore the forests, kayak around to see the marine life up close, or get a glimpse into Haida culture through the totem poles that tell stories of the past. Thanks to its remote location, Haida Gwaii has kept its unique vibe where nature and culture mix in the coolest way, giving you a trip that’s not just about seeing new places but really feeling them. More than a coastal destination; it’s a journey into the heart of Canada’s wild side.

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Alberta’s Uncharted Territories

Vulcan: IRL Star Trek

Vulcan, Alberta, has boldly claimed its spot as Canada’s Star Trek capital, cleverly embracing its name’s connection to the iconic “Star Trek” series. This town has transformed itself into a must-visit for “Trekkies”, featuring the Vulcan Tourism & Trek Station at its core. This spot isn’t just a visitor centre; it’s a museum loaded with “Star Trek” goodies, exhibits, and even a replica of the Starship Enterprise. And it’s not just about the museum; Vulcan is decked out in Star Trek murals, sculptures, and celebrates its cosmic vibe with the annual Spock Days festival. Whether you’re a hardcore fan of the show or just in it for the novelty, Vulcan delivers a unique blend of exploration and community charm, proving that creativity and passion can elevate a small town to interstellar fame.

Nova Scotia’s Timeless Beauties 

Annapolis Royal: A portal to the past 

Annapolis Royal, in the heart of Nova Scotia’s Annapolis Valley, is your time machine to the early chapters of Canadian history. This singular town, one of North America’s first European settlements, is a treasure of stories from its Indigenous roots to its key role in colonial times. Taking a stroll here is like walking through history, with sights like the iconic Fort Anne and the stunning Annapolis Royal Historic Gardens. But Annapolis Royal isn’t just about visiting old sites; it’s a living, breathing place where history merges into the present, offering a unique way to connect with Canada’s past. Whether you’re into the arts, food, or even a spooky graveyard tour by candlelight, Annapolis Royal provides a rich, hands-on experience that spans centuries.

Ontario’s Hidden Treasures

Blind River: City’s gateway to natural wonders

Blind River is a cozy spot along Lake Huron’s North Channel in Ontario, and it’s all about embracing the great outdoors. If you’re into nature, this small town has got it all: pristine waters, green forests, and tons of activities like kayaking and hiking. It’s perfectly placed for anyone looking to explore the wild, with the Benjamin Islands and their awesome pink granite just a short trip away. Blind River really shows off Ontario’s natural beauty, making it a top choice for kicking back or seeking adventure.

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